Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What is he thinking?

From a few days ago...
Grandmom says to Grandpop...
"Can you get me the cookies George?" (which are on the counter in a clear pastic container)
Grandpop looks around and then says, "The ones in the wire cage?"
"Sure-whatever," Grandmom says to him, knowing that the cookies are not in a wire cage, but hoping he can at least figure out this one thing on his own...
Grandpop instead brings the croissants which are UNDER the cookies, both in see-thru plastic...
"The cookies, bring me the cookies!" she yells.
"Oh cookies? Let me see, let me see..." he says as he goes back to his task

I was talking about babysitting Kyle and Kevin and Grandpop asks,
"Who are Kyle and Kevin?"
"Your grandchildren," G-Mom says.
"Oh," says Grandpop in that tone that he uses when he's utterly clueless.
"You know, Knute's children?" Grandmom asks.
"Oh, sure" he says, again with a tone where you know he's only vaguely sure of what you're saying.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Just the norm

Today at breakfast Grandpop says to me "John if you stand up you're going to screw your head to the wall." This was in regards to a cabinet door being open, which he was warning me about hitting my head on.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Pulling my hair out would probably be less painful

This morning Grandpop walks into the kitchen and Grandmom says, "George go fix your hair, you look like Hitler."
"Me?" he asks, "I didn't do it on purpose."

Then Grandmom tells him to go put something in the bathroom...
"The bathroom?" he asks seeming very confused, like she had said 'go run a marathon and put peanut butter in your hair.'
"Yes the bathroom!" she barks.
"The bathroom, yeah, that's the room with the running water and the shower," he tells us as if we are African bushmen fresh off the refugee plane.
"Yes it is George," she says with another long sigh.

Oh and this is great...
Last night Marguerite stopped by and brought Grandpop a big book, with lots of pictures all about Nazis and the Third Reich. He leafs through it for a while and Marguerite asks him if it's any good.
"I've read it before," he tells her.
She nicely replies he certainly could have read it since it was printed in 1961.
"I read it in 1935," he snaps back.
"It's about World War II," she says, "in the 1940's."
"I know," he says again.
She and I just look at each other and give up- knowing it's a lost cause.

The other day Grandmom was talking about this car she saw the other day...
"I saw a Camaro on the road and it was really pretty," she said.
Of course Grandpop didn't understand and asks, "A Camaro, what's that?"
"A Chevy!" she yells back.
"Oh," he says, "I thought it was a bird."

Then I say something about driving and he asks,
"Drive? What's that mean?"
Grandmom says, "You know- you get in a car, turn the key and go- what the Hell do you think it means?"

And no, we never get tired of repeating every single thing that comes out of our mouths. Really it's fun to say everything twice, just like who doesn't like to have two times as much money or candy, you know?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I know not the "danger" in everyday things

One day last spring I was playing with a piece of grass that I had picked which was about a foot long. I was messing with Grandmom and trying to poke her in the back of the head with it when Grandpop starts shouting, "That is a VERY dangerous toy!"
"It's ok," I reply, "it's just a piece of grass, and I've got a license to operate it." Grandpop, however, did not understand my joke and insisted that I get rid of this "very dangerous toy" as soon as possible to avoid all possible injuries that could occur.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I almost forgot

I can't believe I almost forgot about this...

Last night Grandpop picks up the bottle of olive oil for his salad(which is a clear glass container with a shiny metal lid on it with a spout for pouring), and he starts pushing down on the lid while holding the bottle upright. I immediately know that he thinks the olive oil is the pepper grinder, which is electric (best thing ever, really) and although shiny and metallic on top it is different from the oil and vinegar containers in that it is about 5 inches taller, has a big button on top and has a clear window on the bottom showing the pepper corns. He, however, cannot tell them apart. So he picks up the vinegar container instead and starts pressing down on the top of it as well.
"Peggy," he says, "This pepper won't come out!"
"Well it would help if you had the pepper mill," she says, "That's your salad oil."
"Oh," he says, "I want some of that too," and he proceeds to pour roughly half of the oil in the bottle onto his salad. No he didn't add vinegar, but I'm sure the salad was lubed up well enough for him to choke it down, I mean he only put about half a cup of olive oil on top.
And as soon as he's done drenching his salad in oil he picks up the vinegar and starts pressing on the top again, trying to get that pepper to come out.

One last thing about dinner last night

So we're watching TV and this commercial for "plum" juice comes on and Grandmom and I start making fun of how they're marketing prune juice under a different name but it's still the same thing.
Grandpop turns to us and asks, "HUH? What kind of beans?"

Dinner time with a side of Grandmom yelling

First let it be known that even though it is Grandpop's job every night of the week to set the table for dinner, he usually messes things up in one way or another. He'll start looking for the plates in the silverware drawer or looking for the napkins in the dishwasher and it takes about 8 minutes to do a job that takes me all of 47 seconds.
Yesterday, after Grandpop had finally set the table, he asked if there was anything else he could do to help.
"Sure George, if you want to help get out a pot," Grandmom says. Grandpop starts looking in the cabinet where the dishes are kept and Grandmom tells him that the pots are under the stove. He walks across the kitchen and asks, "What am I lookin' for now?"
"A pot George, a pot!" Grandmom yells.
"I'm lookin'" he says as he holds up a lid. "Is this pot good?"
"Shit George," Grandmom says as she's getting really pissed off, "Can't you even tell the difference between a pot and a lid anymore?"
And the answer is- barely.

His brain must hurt, he's so confused

Yesterday while Grandmom and I were eating lunch Matlock was on and in the show he was attempting to fix an old grandffather clock. Matlock turns the clock around so he can get to the back of it and Grandpop asks, "Is he making a fire?"
"No George," Grandmom says, "He's looking at a clock, what are you talking about?" Matlock proceeds to pop the back off the clock and all of the inner workings; springs, wheels, gears,etc fall all over the ground.
"Are those quarters or diamonds?" Grandpop asks.
"Oh god," is what Grandmom and I say in unison as we shake our heads and give up on the whole thing.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another fond memeory...

Last spring or summer I had put a pot of flowers out on Grandmom's stoop and Grandpop wanted to know how one should go about caring for this plant. I told him that you just add water every couple days.
"So you petunia them? You preserve them?" he asks me.
I was completely complexed by his usage of "petunia" as a verb, but who knows what he's thinking?

Friday, January 19, 2007

So this happened a few years ago, but it's worth remembering

Two years ago when Grandpop had his eye operated on he had to have drops put in it a few times a day. Of course he was unable to do it on his own so Grandmom or I would help him out. One day I go to put in his eye drops and he takes his fingers and spreads the left eye. "Grandpop," I say, "That's your glass eye. You need to open your other eye for me, the real one."

Nothing to do with Grandpa, but he does love Bush!

Wow- check this quote from CNN- U.S. official: Chinese test missile obliterates satellite

"Under a space policy authorized by President Bush in August, the United States asserts a right to "freedom of action in space" and says it will "deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so."

And on an even more serious note- Read all about "Who stole Jesus' Foreskin?"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Peggy, should I water these flowers?

Today Grandmom was trying to keep Grandpop busy and so she told him to water the plants.
"Peggy should I water these flowers that feel like paper?" he yells across the living room.
"No George, those flowers are made of plastic," she sighs.

The other night (1/11/07) we had chicken pot pies for dinner and Grandpop asks, midway through Jeopardy, "What is it we're eating?" as he goes back to get seconds. "Chicken POT PIE!" Grandmom yells for the fifth time. "What's in all this goo?" he asks, inquiring about everything beneath the crust.She tells him, again, that it's peas, chicken, carrots etc... his first bite in his second helping is a piece of chicken and he says, "Mmm good chicken, I haven't had any of that yet." Grandmom gets so pissed off when he says this, because he's sort of insinuating that we took all of the chicken before he got to it, and this is his first piece.
"Do not tell me that is the first piece of chicken you've had," she says very calmly, "Or I will kick you." Grandpop wisely says nothing and we allow Jeopardy to calm the mood as Grandmom takes another deep breath and a long gulp of her scotch and water.

He's just trying to help me

Recently I have been told by my grandpa that my nose blowing is so loud that it is a "social handicap." I forget who said it, I think it was George Carlin, but it went along the lines of- If anyone ever tries to tell you, "I'm just trying to help you," you better run as fast as you can in the other direction. Luckily my grandpa gives me medical advice without charge and he always ends his thoughts with, "I'm just trying to help you." So when he was "just trying to help me" with my nasal handicap I didn't hesitate to call a doctor and schedule an appointment, for if I don't get this fixed soon my future job may be at risk. Grandpa says that my new boss will most certainly fire me as soon as he hears me blow my nose, and this will likely cause me emotional problems as well.

But not only was he helpful enough to give me advice in regards to my nose, but little did I know that I could have diabetes too. This was pointed out to me when Grandpa noticed that I drink water. Now I shouldn't be judgemental here and question an 85-year old retired doctor who can not always make distinctions between the dishwasher and the microwave (and the stove, fridge, cabinets and toaster oven) but sometimes Grandpop himself falls short on the suggested 8 glasses of water a day.
Here is a list of what Grandpop drinks on an average day (meaning every day).
Coffee for breakfast
Cold coffee for lunch
Beer at 4 pm
More beer until bed
Sometimes wine- (If you see grandpop drinking wine it is advised to avoid all contact with him.)

Of course, because I drink water, I have diabetes. Almost 4 years of college and you would hope I've learned something. Other reasons that I have diabetes include a family history. "Your mother had diabetes," he said. "Actually she didn't," was my reply, "she had leukemia but not diabetes." "Oh, well, yeah, I knew she had something," was his endearing response followed by, "I'm just trying to help you."
The last time he insisted I had diabetes he wouldn't give it up until I tested my blood sugar with Gradmom's glucose monitor. Of course I was fine, but that was a year ago. He would like me to be tested again, for as he put it, "you could have got it two weeks ago." And I try to remember that he's just trying to help me.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Quotations dealing with Grandpop

Here are some of the things that have come out of Grandpop's mouth (Or things my grandma or myself have said in relation to something about him.), if it doesn't make sense then don't try too hard to figure it out. Enjoy

"A tire is a tire."- G.Pop

"Egypt is in Asia."- G.Pop 2006

G-Pa (at dinner)- "I'm hungry, I didn't eat lunch."
G-Ma- "Why not George?"
G-Pa- "I was busy"
G-Ma- "Busy doing what?"
G-Pa- "I was busy organizing things"
G-Ma- "Organizing what?"
G-Pa- "Busy organizing things in my mind"
G-Ma- "Oh, that could take a while." Fall 2006

Me to my grandma- "Why doesn't Grandpop go watch the big TV in his new comfy chair?"(As opposed to sitting in the kitchen watching the tiny TV.)
G-Ma- "Because he likes to sit in here and bitch." (Jan. 1, 2007)

Jan. 15, 2007- Grandmom gives Grandpop the simple job of shredding some cheese, about a cup's worth, and it turns into a 45 minute ordeal involving finding a top for a piece of Tupperware, something that can even be hard for me. So when he finally settles down to shred the cheese, nearly an hour later, he asks where the measuring cups are to measure an exact cup of cheese, sending grandmom into a rage of yelling and when she stops grandpop asks her,
G-Pa- "What? I couldn't understand your mumbling. You cut your throat?"
G-Ma- "No! But I'm going to in a minute because of you! Pretend I'm dead George, and stop asking all of these questions..."

G-Pa- "I need a telescope from here to China to see the print..." mumbles about the tiny font
G-Ma- "Well get the goddamn telescope then because you're driving me crazy" (Dec. 26, 2006)

G-Ma- "You know, the VCR?" (to G-Pa)
G-Pa- "Yeah it makes copies, right?"
G-Ma- "No it's for movies"
G-Pa- "Oh, it's a screen huh?" (2006)

"Peggy do you want the seeds out of the potatoes?"- G-Pa 2006

G-Pa"Peggy do I need to save the potato peels?"
G-Ma- "Not today George." Aside to herself- "God I hope I never have to say yes to that."

The Story of ScaryGrandpa

This is the first in a series of blogs about life and my senile, mostly deaf and nearly blind Grandpa, named George. George's memory just doesn't seem to serve him right these days, and neither do many of his senses. But he's still got that same old gift of being able to vivaciously criticize everyone around him, and I really do need someone to tell me now and then that I'm shelling the peanuts incorrectly or that an English degree will never get me anywhere in life, and without him I'd be lost.
The nickname ScaryGrandpa came about one winter's night around Christmas in 2006 when Katie and I had been up talking and drinking vodka tonics. On this ons particular night Grandpop kept getting up about once an hour to ask us what we were doing, which tends to get really irritating when you're clealry just sitting at the table, drinking and talking. When you try to explain anything to him you are accused of mumbling, so you have to nearly scream while annunciating very explicitly. I really think it would have been easier to have a conversation with Helen Keller about astrophysics than to converse for several sentences with my grandpa.
Come midnight Katie and I could hear him slowly staggering down the hallway, again, whitsle-breathing(You know how some people whistle when they breathe in an out? Well he does this about 10 times louder than anyone you can imagine.) as he stumbled toward us in the kitchen. When he walks around at night with his old scrubs pulled up over his belly button, his glasses off, hearing aids out and arms held out in front of him resembling a T-Rex, you really don't want to deal with him in any form or fashion. Fretting another encounter with George we jumped into the living room where I laid down on the couch and Katie sat silently in the new chair. Grandpop, possibly sensing someone to yell at using his innate T-Rex ESP, peered into the darkened living room where we were, but he couldn't see us several feet away. Katie and I were nearly passing out from the pain of holding in the laughter, but I was able to whisper to her without him hearing us about 8 feet away. "Shhhh! If you don't move he can't see us, it's just like in Jurassic Park when the T-Rex gets out!" (You know, when it eats the goat? And the old Ford Explorer(s?) get(s) tossed over the edge into the tree top(s)? But why was it light out when they all left in the Explorers in the afternoon? So then it's dark when the T-Rex gets out and pushes them over the edge of the cliff... Where did the cliff come from? And once they're at the bottom of the tree isn't it light again? Well whatever...) After another few moments of his gazing we were home free, and after he turned out all of the lights, again, he was off to bed. We narrowly escaped one more scary encounter with the most horrifying of all living things known to man. From that day forth we have called him "ScaryGrandpa" because he reminds us of an old dinosaur, and he's scary, especially after a night of drinking wine.
At this very moment he's busy watching Sounder on TCM, so there's little chance of him helping me find more faults in myself. But don't worry, I bet after dinner and 5 Yeunglings he'll be glad to help me out in that department.